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NIH Office of the Director (OD)

Wednesday, June 11, 2003

Office of NIH History
Sarah Leavitt
(301) 496-6610

Web-based Exhibit on Genetics Research Now Available

An on-line exhibit on genetics research, sponsored by the Office of NIH History, is now available on the World Wide Web at: http://history.nih.gov/exhibits/genetics/. The exhibit answers important questions about genetics research and features cartoons to increase children’s interest in genetics. A physical version of the exhibit is also on display at the NIH Clinical Center.

Titled “Revolution in Progress: Human Genetics and Medical Research,” the exhibit looks specifically at how this research will help in the prevention and treatment of disease. It also provides information on what DNA, genes, and chromosomes do in our bodies, explains how basic research has led to a better understanding of genetic research, and discusses the scope, purpose, and techniques of the Human Genome Project to map and decode our genes. The exhibit poses such questions as: How do genes cause disease? Can gene therapy work? How do we manipulate genes and should we?

“Genetics research is producing discoveries that have profound implications for our society,” says historian Dr. Victoria Harden, the Director of the Office of NIH History and its Stetten Museum of Medical Research. “This research will affect everyone’s life, and we must struggle individually and as a nation with the ethical questions regarding testing, medical insurance and job discrimination, and gene therapy and eugenics. I’m excited that more people, especially teachers and students, will now be able to see this exhibit on the Internet.”

The Office of NIH History and the Stetten Museum are components of the Office of Communications and Public Liaison in the NIH Office of the Director. “Revolution in Progress” was produced by the Stetten Museum in collaboration with the National Human Genome Research Institute, the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, the National Cancer Institute, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease, and the National Institute of General Medical Sciences. The National Institutes of Health is an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

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